[nfbmi-talk] Continued Mismanagement of Blindness Services

Fred Wurtzel f.wurtzel at att.net
Fri Feb 24 20:53:04 CST 2012


Dear Sir,

This letter is to address your article about the Commission for the Blind
and the action of Governor Snyder.  I kind of wonder why you did not cover
what blind people think of this regretful change.  There was serious
mismanagement at the Commission for the Blind.  That was a failure of
oversight and administration.  Blind people were suffering because of this
mismanagement.  Blind people will continue to suffer because of this
well-intended and misguided change.  These problems were there before
Governor Snyder was elected.  He did not need to own them, he does now.

 

It seems that you, as someone whose job it is to fully cover a story did not
talk to the very people affected by the action of Governor Snyder.  I voted
for him.  I still have respect for him.  He inherited a lot of poor managers
who did not have the best interests of blind people in mind.  The welfare
department is not the right place for a jobs program.  If you had done your
homework, you would have known that the Michigan Commission for the Blind
Training Center in Kalamazoo is not the "School for the Blind," as you
reported.  

 

Blind people account for a mere 2% of the population.  We are kicked from
pillar to post with no consideration for what is the best way to provide
needed services.  With 70% unemployment, worse than almost any other
minority in society, we need a quality jobs program that is controlled by
blind people rather than political hacks like the former MCB director, who
happened to be blind but was incompetent to have the job.  Unfortunately no
one did anything to monitor his performance though blind consumers
repeatedly and vociferously raised concerns.  Now we are being punished for
their mismanagement and you, the reporter who ought to explain these things
can't take time to even get the basic facts correct.

 

There is nothing inherently wrong with P.A. 260 of 1978 which created the
Commission The agency has plenty of money.  There is an adequate staff to do
the work of the agency.  The only fly in the ointment is the Commission
Director's incompetence and the failure of administration to measure and
hold him accountable.  The Governor, nor his staff,  did not even have the
courtesy to talk to blind consumers, the very people who will have to live
with this change.  The Commission has been in the welfare department 2 other
times.  We, the blind, have worked in the legislature to get it out.  We
will do it again.  It makes take another 10 years, or we may stop it in the
next 60 days, but be assured we will outlast every last politician and
weak-kneed administrator who got us in this mess and we will win.

 

I love the Free Press.  My father read the Free Press every day.  I grew up
with it.  I don't think your story lives up to my high expectations of this
proud paper.

 

Sincerely,

 

Fred Wurtzel




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